After murder charges dropped, Chicago woman says she's suing over arrest

(Amber Ross/Yakima Police Department via AP)

The 35-year-old Chicago woman who was facing murder charges in a fatal shooting at a hot dog stand before Cook County prosecutors abruptly announced the dismissal of all criminal counts on Monday now says she’s taking legal action against the city and the Chicago PD.


Carlisha Hood and her 14-year-old son were arrested shortly after her son shot and killed Jeremy Brown, with prosecutors laying out a narrative that appears to be completely unsubstantiated by the evidence in the case. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office alleged that Hood was the instigator of violence; instructing her teenage son to bring her lawfully-owned and legally carried firearm from her car to the interior of the hot dog stand, telling him to shoot Brown over a verbal dispute, and then attempting to get her child to shoot another woman in the restaurant who’d supposedly taunted her over the verbal dispute.

When cell phone video emerged over the weekend showing Brown threatening Hood and eventually punching her several times in the head and face before her son entered the restaurant and fired at the man, Cook County prosecutors announced that in light of the “emerging evidence” all charges against the mother and son would be dropped, but on Tuesday Hood said that’s not enough to make up to the harm the city has caused her family.

Carlishia Hood, 35, was flanked by her attorneys in Bronzeville during a news conference where they announced that they have filed a complaint against the city of Chicago and five police officers.

They claim Hood was falsely arrested and maliciously prosecuted and that she has also suffered emotional distress.

“On June 18 of this year, my life changed, my son’s life changed,” Hood said. “Never in a million years would I have imagined being brutally attacked, beaten and then arrested.”

“No one else in the establishment did anything. And so, once he saw his mother get severely hit, he took action,” said community activist Ja’Mal Green.

Hood’s attorney’s said prosecutors did the right thing and that she was the victim in this case.

“When a woman is violently attacked by a man, an unarmed woman, then she shouldn’t be arrested,” Hood’s attorney Brandon Brown said. “If your mother or sister or daughter were attacked in a restaurant when she is trying to order a cheeseburger, would you expect that she would be arrested?”

Hood and her attorneys did not answer direct questions about the incident. They would only say that she and her son need time to heal and at some point she will present herself again and speak more in depth about what happened.

Her attorneys said wrongful charges have caused great harm to hood and her family’s reputation.

At one point, Hood said during the news conference that “everything I have worked for has been tarnished.”

Her attorneys said they plan to file additional lawsuits.


If that’s what it takes for authorities to come clean about how the initial investigation apparently got things so backwards, as well as the rush to file charges on the part of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx then I’m all for it. As things stand, it seems like no one is talking at the moment; not Foxx’s office or the police superintendent nor Hood herself, who’s probably keeping quiet on the advice of her attorneys, especially now that she’s suing the city.

So much of what was originally reported by authorities just doesn’t add up now that the charges have been dismissed, including the supposed threat to at least one other customer after Brown had been shot. What really happened inside that hot dog stand is still unclear, even with the cell phone video that helped clear Hood’s name, but hopefully both Hood and the general public will learn more as the lawsuits progress.

I still wish Hood had been carrying her firearm on her person instead of leaving it in her car, but that’s not a crime in Illinois (at least not yet). As a concealed carry holder, she should have been responsible for her own safety as well as her son’s, not the other way around, and this is a terrible way to learn that lesson. Still, if her life was genuinely threatened then her son had every right to defend his mom from an assault, and the arrest and subsequent charges only added more trauma to the teen and to Hood herself. At the very least prosecutors should have waited until all the evidence was in before deciding on any potential charges, and the apparent rush to judgement could end up costing Cook County taxpayers millions of dollars in addition to costing Hood and her family their peace of mind and good name.


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